Kyle Busch

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Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch August 5, 2009 (cropped).jpg
Busch in August 2009
Born (1985-05-02) May 2, 1985 (age 29)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg)
Achievements

2009 Nationwide Series Champion
2008 Southern 500 Winner
2009, 2013 Budweiser Duel Winner
2012 Sprint Unlimited Winner

2009 Snowball Derby Winner
2009 Winchester 400 Winner
2011 TD Bank 250 Winner

2012 Prelude to the Dream Winner
Awards 2005 Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year
2004 Busch Series Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
358 race(s) run over 11 year(s)
Car no., team No. 18 (Joe Gibbs Racing)
2013 position 4th
Best finish 4th (2013)
First race 2004 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 (Las Vegas)
Last race 2014 AAA 400 (Dover)
First win 2005 Sony HD 500 (California)
Last win 2014 Auto Club 400 (Fontana)
Wins Top tens Poles
29 174 15
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
290 race(s) run over 12 year(s)
Car no., team No. 54 (Joe Gibbs Racing)
2013 position 89th
Best finish 1st (2009)
First race 2003 Carquest Auto Parts 300 (Charlotte)
Last race 2014 Dover 200 (Dover)
First win 2004 Funai 250 (Richmond)
Last win 2014 Dover 200 (Dover)
Wins Top tens Poles
69 206 43
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
123 race(s) run over 12 year(s)
Truck no., team No. 51 (Kyle Busch Motorsports)
2013 position 84th
Best finish 14th (2008, 2010)
First race 2001 Power Stroke Diesel 200 (IRP)
Last race 2014 Lucas Oil 225 (Joliet)
First win 2005 Quaker Steak and Lube 200 (Charlotte)
Last win 2014 Lucas Oil 225 (Joliet)
Wins Top tens Poles
41 97 16
Statistics current as of September 28, 2014.

Kyle Thomas Busch (born May 2, 1985) is an American stock car racing driver and team owner. He currently drives the No. 18 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the No. 54 Toyota Camry in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. He also owns Kyle Busch Motorsports, which runs multiple trucks in the Camping World Truck Series.

The younger brother of 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, he currently holds several records in NASCAR competition, one of which is for most race wins in a season across the top three NASCAR series with 24 wins, which he accomplished in 2010, and also for the most wins in all three of NASCAR's national touring series combined with 135. Busch was also the first driver to win in all three of NASCAR's top three touring series in the same weekend (at Bristol in 2010). He also holds the record for the most NASCAR Nationwide Series wins in a season with 13 in 2010, and the most overall with 66.

At age 19 years and 317 days, Busch became NASCAR's youngest ever pole winner in a Cup Series race at California Speedway in 2005. He has the record for most wins in a Nationwide Series rookie season, as well as being the youngest driver to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which was accomplished in 2006. Furthermore, Busch became the first driver to win in a Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the 2008 season, and is the only driver to win four straight spring races at Richmond International Raceway (2009-2012).

Busch is also one of three active drivers to win on his birthday; he was the second driver ever to achieve the feat, winning the 2009 Crown Royal Presents the Russell Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway on his 24th birthday. His team, Kyle Busch Motorsports, became the first Camping World Truck Series team to win the owners' championship in its first year after recording eight wins, 16 top 5, and 21 top 10 finishes in 2010.

Early life and career[edit]

Busch's first driving lessons came at the age of 6 when he drove around the cul-de-sac of his family's Las Vegas neighborhood in a makeshift go-kart.[1] Although he could not reach the throttle, Busch still was able to pick up the basics from his father Tom, who controlled the gas pedal as Busch drove the vehicle.[2] Busch worked in the family garage with his father and older brother Kurt as he grew, becoming crew chief for his brother's dwarf car team. at age 10.[2]

Busch began his driving career in 1998, shortly after his 13th birthday; from 1999 through 2001, Busch won over 65 races in legends car racing, winning two track championships at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring short-track, before moving to late models;[3] Busch scored 10 victories in late model competition at the Bullring during the 2001 season.[2]

At the age of 16, Busch began competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (now Camping World Truck Series), driving the No. 99 Ford for Roush Racing as a replacement for Nathan Haseleu, who was released midway in the 2001 season. He made his debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park,[4] posting a 9th place finish in his first race in the series.[5] In his second race at Chicago Motor Speedway, he was leading until his truck ran out of fuel with 12 laps to go.[6]

Busch was the fastest in practice for a 2001 Craftsman Truck Series race at California Speedway in Fontana, CA, when he was informed he was not allowed to participate in events at the track, due to the fact that the CART FedEx Championship Series, running at the track the same weekend, had its race sponsored by Marlboro cigarettes[7] Busch was decreed ineligible to compete due an interpretation of the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998, prohibiting people under 18 years of age in participating in events sponsored by tobacco companies;[8] Tim Woods III replaced Busch in the No. 99 Ford for the event.[7] Busch competed in a total of six races in the Truck Series in 2001, finishing ninth twice, at IRP and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.[9]

Six weeks after the incident, NASCAR imposed a minimum age of 18 years starting in 2002 to prevent incidents of the sort from happening again;[10] this was partially because Winston was the series sponsor of its premier Winston Cup Series at the time.[11] When the age requirements were put in place, Busch switched from NASCAR to the American Speed Association (ASA) National Tour, finishing 8th in points.[12]

In 2002, Busch graduated a year early with honors from Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nevada to focus on his driving career.[3] That same year, he made his debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway, finishing twelfth in the No. 22 Chevrolet for WP Motorsports.[13]

Resumed NASCAR career[edit]

2003[edit]

Busch entered the 2003 season as a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports; he ran seven ARCA RE/MAX Series races for the team, scoring his first career win at Nashville Superspeedway in April,[14] and winning again at Kentucky Speedway in May.[15]

Having turned 18 in early May, he resumed his NASCAR career, driving seven Busch Series races in the No. 87 Chevrolet for NEMCO Motorsports.[16] He posted two second-place finishes in the seven races, including in his debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway,[17] and again at Darlington Raceway.[18]

2004[edit]

Busch began his 2004 season by competing in the ARCA Re/MAX Series 200-mile race at Daytona International Speedway; he won the event, beating Frank Kimmel for the win.[19] He began his first full-time Busch Series season in 2004, replacing Brian Vickers in the No. 5 Chevrolet.[18] Busch scored his first career pole in the series in the fifth race of the year at Darlington Raceway,[20] and his first career win in May at Richmond International Raceway in the Funai 250.[21] Busch won four additional races, tying Greg Biffle for the record for most wins by a driver in their rookie year,[22] and finished second in points behind series champion Martin Truex, Jr..[23]

Busch also made his debut in the Nextel Cup Series in 2004, driving the No. 84 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.[24] He attempted to qualify for nine races in 2004, qualifying for six events with his first being at his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway;[25] he posted a best finish of 24th at California Speedway.[26]

2005[edit]

In October 2004 it was announced that Busch would be competing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports starting in 2005, replacing Terry Labonte in the No. 5 Chevrolet as Labonte semi-retired to run a partial season.[27] Busch won his first career Sprint Cup race at California Speedway in September, winning the Sony HD 500;[28] at the time he was the youngest winner in the history of the series, at an age of 20 years, 4 months and 2 days,[29] four days younger than previous recordholder Donald Thomas.[28][N 1] Busch won a second race later in the year at Phoenix International Raceway,[30] on his way to finishing twentieth in series points and winning the Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year title.[31] Busch also became the youngest polesitter in Nextel Cup Series history when he was the fastest qualifyer for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway in February.[32]

Busch also competed on a limited basis in the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series in 2005; in Busch Series competition he ran fourteen races, winning at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May;[33] he won three races in eleven starts in the Craftsman Truck Series for Billy Ballew Motorsports;[34] his first career win, at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 20, made Busch the youngest winner in series history at the time.[35][N 2]

2006[edit]

Kyle Busch at the March 5, 2006 race at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City

Busch scored one Nextel Cup Series win in 2006, taking the checkered flag in the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.[37] Busch qualified for the Chase for the Nextel Cup for the first time in his career by finishing second at Richmond International Raceway in September, moving into the top ten in points;[38] he finished the year tenth in points, 448 behind series champion Jimmie Johnson.[39]

In the NASCAR Busch Series, Busch ran all but one race over the season, winning the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway,[40] and finishing seventh in points;[41] in the Craftsman Truck Series, Busch competed in seven races, winning the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway;[42] Busch's truck was painted to resemble the Rowdy Burns car from the movie Days of Thunder.[43]

2007[edit]

In 2007, Busch became the first Nextel Cup Series driver to win in the Car of Tomorrow, winning the Food City at Bristol Motor Speedway in March over Jeff Burton; despite winning, Busch stated an intense dislike of the Car of Tomorrow after the race.[44] The win was the 200th NASCAR national touring series win for Hendrick Motorsports,[45][N 3] the 600th NASCAR victory for Chevrolet, and the first win for a Chevrolet Impala in NASCAR since Wendell Scott won at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida in December 1963.[47][N 4] At Texas Motor Speedway in April, Busch left the track without informing his team after an accident; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was asked by the team to relief-drive once the car was repaired.[49] Later at Talladega Superspeedway in the Busch Series Aaron's 312, Busch flipped his car seven times in a wreck with Tony Stewart and Casey Mears, causing his HANS device to crack from the force of the wreck.[50]

In the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, Busch and older brother Kurt were involved in an accident while racing for the win, knocking each other out of the race; afterwards the brothers were angry with each other, Kurt joking that "I won't be eating any Kellogg's soon", referencing Kyle's sponsor, and Kyle refusing to be interviewed.[51] Both drivers were warned to avoid further incidents; while the brothers later stated that they were reconciling,[52] it was later revealed that the two refused to speak to each other until their grandmother spoke with them at the family Thanksgiving dinner later that year.[53]

In June 2007, it was announced Busch would be leaving Hendrick Motorsports after the end of the 2007 season; a contract extension had been proposed, but instead Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was signed replace Busch starting with the 2008 season.[49] Busch stated that the decision to terminate his contract had been mutual, but it had been influenced by a change in agent.[54] On July 7, Busch battled Jamie McMurray in the Pepsi 400; he finished second to McMurray by only 0.005 seconds.[55] In August Busch announced that he would be joining Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2008 season, replacing J. J. Yeley in the No. 18 Toyota.[56]

Busch also ran nineteen Busch Series races in 2007, winning four times and finishing sixteenth in points;[57] he raced eleven times in the Craftsman Truck Series for Billy Ballew Motorsports, scoring two wins.[58]

2008[edit]

Busch in May 2008

Busch started his association with Joe Gibbs Racing by leading the most laps in the 50th Daytona 500, finishing 4th;[59] he posted another 4th place finish the following week at Auto Club Speedway, becoming the series points leader for the first time in his career.[60] At Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Kobalt Tools 500, Busch scored his first win with JGR and the first Sprint Cup points-race win for Toyota.[61] At Richmond International Raceway Busch became involved in an incident with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with three laps to go, spinning Earnhardt and letting Clint Bowyer by to win;[62] the move resulted in Busch being vilified by fans of Earnhardt, Jr.[63]

Kyle Busch's 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Car

Busch won Sprint Cup races at Talladega Superspeedway, Darlington Raceway, Dover International Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Watkins Glen International over the summer of 2008; in August at Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch was bumped out of the way after dominating the race by Carl Edwards, who went on to win; after the race Busch began bumping Edwards' car to express his displeasure, and Edwards retaliated by spinning Busch to cheers from the crowd.[64] Both drivers were placed on probation for the incident.[65]

Busch entered the Chase leading the points standings,[66] but consecutive poor finishes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway dropped Busch from a 20-point lead to twelfth in points; Busch rallied to finish tenth at the end of the season, with a career-high eight wins and twenty-one top-tens.[67]

Busch also ran in thirty Nationwide Series races during the 2008 season; he teamed with Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Tony Stewart helped win the 2008 Nationwide series owners' championship for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 20 Toyota.[68] Busch competed for three different teams over the course of the Nationwide Series season, driving four different cars; he collected ten race wins, four pole positions, twenty top tens and eighteen top fives during the year;[69] his 10 wins tied the Nationwide series record for most wins in a season, set by Sam Ard 24 years earlier.[70]

In the Craftsman Truck Series, Busch finished second in the Chevy Silverado 250 at Daytona International Speedway,[71] and followed it up a week later with a win in the San Bernardino County 200 at the newly renamed Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.[72] Two weeks later at Atlanta, he raced to another win in the American Commercial Lines 200;[73] his third and final win of the 2008 truck series season came at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20.[74]

2009[edit]

Kyle Busch on pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch started his 2009 season with a win at Daytona International Speedway in his Gatorade Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500;[75] he led the most laps in the Daytona 500 but was involved in an accident and failed to finish the race.[76] The next week at Auto Club Speedway Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to win two national touring series races in the same day, winning the Truck Series San Bernardino County 200 and Nationwide Series Stater Brothers 300.[77] Busch then won Sprint Cup races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.[78][79]

On May 2, 2009, Busch became the second driver in Sprint Cup Series history to win a race on his birthday, after Cale Yarborough, with a win in the Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway.[80][N 5] In the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Busch was involved in a violent wreck while attempting to block Tony Stewart to win; Stewart won the race but apologized in victory circle for the wreck.[82] Busch went on to win his fourth race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway in August;[83] he would miss qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup by eight points to Brian Vickers.[84] In the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch was leading with 3 laps to go and it looked like he would sweep all 3 races at Texas that weekend for the first time, but he ran out of fuel and his brother Kurt Busch took the trophy.

2009 Nationwide championship car at Milwaukee

Busch ran the entire 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, making it the first time he had done so since his rookie year in 2004. In the 2009 Nationwide Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, Busch won the race, clinching his first NASCAR Championship; having won nine races over the course of the season, he was the first driver since Sam Ard in 1983 to win the season finale and the championship in the same year.[85][86] He tallied nine wins, twenty five top fives, and thirty top tens. Busch also won seven races in the Camping World Truck Series during the 2009 season.[87] He also competed in a single Camping World East Series event at Iowa Speedway, winning the race from the pole.[88]

2010[edit]

Busch in April 2010

On December 11, 2009, Kyle Busch announced the formation of Kyle Busch Motorsports, planning to field two teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2010. The No. 18 Toyota Tundra was to be driven by Busch part-time, with the remainder of races to be driven by Brian Ickler, and the second truck, given No. 56, was to be driven by Tayler Malsam.[89] However, after both Ickler and Malsam accepted jobs to drive in the Nationwide Series, and while suffering financial troubles due to lack of sponsorship, Busch withdrew the No. 56 from competition;[90] Johnny Benson, Jr. and Kasey Kahne drove the No. 18 when Busch wasn't driving it himself.[91]

On August 21, 2010, Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three NASCAR national touring series events run in a single weekend. This was achieved at Bristol Motor Speedway, where Busch won in the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and Sprint Cup Series events over a four-day period.[92] Kyle Busch was described as "an ass" in driver introductions for the Cup race by fellow NASCAR star, Brad Keselowski, who Busch had intentionally wrecked in the Nationwide Series race the previous night.[93]

On November 7, 2010 at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch spun midway through the race, and while pitting to change tires sped on pit road. While serving a penalty his in-car camera caught Busch flip the finger to the officials; he was penalized two additional laps for the gesture, and was later fined $25,000 in addition to being placed on probation through the end of the year.[94]

In the Nationwide Series he won 13 races in 2010, breaking the all-time record for most Nationwide Series wins in a season previously held by Sam Ard with 10.[95] Busch also won three Cup Series and eight Truck Series races in 2010,[95] including a win at Talladega Superspeedway over Aric Almirola by 0.002 seconds, the closest finish in Camping World Truck Series history since the introduction of electronic scoring;[96] his No. 18 Truck Series team won the 2010 owners' championship in the series.[91]

2011[edit]

Busch's car during the 2011 Goody's Fast Relief 500

Busch's 2011 Sprint Cup Series season began with a wreck in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.[97] Busch also raced in all three NASCAR points events at Daytona, with a best finish of fifth in the Truck Series event; the next week at Phoenix, Busch dominated the Truck Series race,[98] and led every lap of the race in the Nationwide Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200.[99] He was close to sweep all 3 races at Phoenix again, but Jeff Gordon overtook him with 9 laps to go and took the trophy. Busch swept the March weekend at Bristol, his second sweep of a Bristol weekend.[100] On April 30, 2011, Busch won his third straight spring race at Richmond International Raceway, capturing his second win of the 2011 season.[101]

Following an on-track incident with Kevin Harvick during the Southern 500 on May 7, and a post-race scuffle that saw Busch push Harvick's unoccupied car on pit road with his car, Busch and Harvick were fined $25,000 and put on probation for four races, in addition to the Sprint All-Star Race.[102] Following the Truck Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway, Busch became involved in an altercation with Richard Childress; Busch had bumped Childress' No. 22 truck, driven by Joey Coulter, on the race's cooldown lap, and according to witnesses about 30 minutes after the race Childress came up to Busch, put him in a head lock and started punching him.[103] Childress had previously stated, following Busch's altercation with Harvick at Darlington, that he would consider it personal if Busch damaged another vehicle he owned;[104] Childress was fined $150,000 for the incident, and placed on probation for the remainder of the year.[105] Busch stated that the bump had been congratulatory,[106] and that had he realised the resulting damage would upset Childress he would have paid for the repairs.[107]

Busch won the inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway on July 9, beating David Reutimann and Jimmie Johnson;[108] at Watkins Glen in August, Busch led the most laps but lost the lead to Marcos Ambrose during a green-white-checkered finish.[109] The following week Busch won the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, becoming the first driver that season to clinch a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.[110]

On August 24, 2011, while competing in the Truck Series O'Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch was hit by the Joe Denette Motorsports truck of Elliott Sadler, sending him into the wall and causing severe damage to his truck; while waiting for the caution flag to be displayed, Busch drove rapidly around the track and hit Sadler, spinning him.[111] Busch stated afterwards that Sadler, a regular driver for Kevin Harvick in the Nationwide Series, deliberately crashed him due to his connection with Harvick, who at the time was feuding with Busch in the Sprint Cup Series;[112] Sadler and Harvick denied any connection, and no penalties were assessed for the incident.[113]

On August 26, 2011 Busch won the Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, surpassing Mark Martin for the most Nationwide series wins ever, with 50, and also simultaneously became the first driver to win three consecutive races at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Nationwide Series.[114] The race also had the closest finish at Bristol in series history, 0.019 seconds over teammate Joey Logano.[114]

Hornaday incident[edit]

On November 4, 2011, Busch was involved in an incident during the Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350K at Texas Motor Speedway. While passing the lapped truck of Johnny Chapman, Busch made contact with series regular championship contender Ron Hornaday, Jr., causing a caution flag to be displayed. While under the yellow flag, Busch drove to Hornaday's truck during the caution and deliberately turned him into the outside wall,[115] smashing Hornaday's truck and ending Hornaday's title hopes.[116] NASCAR immediately penalized Busch, parking him from the event for his aggressive driving; this was the first case of this being done since Robby Gordon was black-flagged in a 2007 Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.[117] Busch declined comment after speaking with NASCAR officials;[116] Hornaday stated "I'll be at his house Monday morning" if Busch was not suspended.[115]

The next morning, NASCAR president Mike Helton announced, following discussion with Busch and team owner Joe Gibbs, that Busch would remain parked for the remainder of the weekend, including the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge and the Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500.[118] Denny Hamlin replaced Busch in the Nationwide Series event, while Michael McDowell drove Busch's No. 18 in the AAA Texas 500.[118] It was the first time since what is now the Camping World Truck Series was launched in 1995 that NASCAR has parked a driver across all three national series, and only the third cross-series sanction in NASCAR's 64-year history.[119] NASCAR's action mathematically eliminated Busch from contention for the Sprint Cup.[118] Later that day, Busch issued an apology for his actions, saying that the Texas incident was "certainly a step backward."[120] In addition, Busch offered to let Hornaday, his Kevin Harvick Incorporated team closing at the end of the season, drive his No. 18 truck in 2012; Hornaday declined the offer due to his long-standing relationship with Chevrolet.[121]

On November 7, NASCAR fined Busch $50,000 for "actions detrimental to stock car racing"; in addition, Busch was placed on probation for the rest of the year, being warned that he would be suspended indefinitely if he committed another offense detrimental to stock car racing or disrupted the orderly conduct of a NASCAR event during the remainder of the 2011 season.[122]

On November 10, it was reported that M&M's, the primary sponsor for Busch's Sprint Cup team, refused to sponsor the 18 for the last few races as a result of Busch's behavior in Texas.[123] Aric Almirola was briefly considered by Joe Gibbs Racing to replace Busch for the remainder of the year;[124] while it was decided by the team to allow Busch to drive in the final two races of the season with Interstate Batteries sponsorship,[125] Busch was replaced in the team's Nationwide Series car for the final race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway by the request of the team's sponsor, Z-Line Designs.[126]

2012[edit]

Busch's car during the 2012 Kobalt Tools 400

Busch started the 2012 season announcing he would be moving, in the Nationwide Series, from running for Joe Gibbs Racing to running only a limited schedule races in cars prepared by his own Kyle Busch Motorsports team, driving alongside his brother Kurt,[127] in addition to cutting back his Truck Series schedule to only three races.[128]

His 2012 season in the Sprint Cup Series began with a win in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, his first win in the event; his margin of victory over Tony Stewart, 0.013 seconds, was the closest in the event's history.[129] However Busch's only win in a Sprint Cup points event during the year would come at Richmond in the Capital City 400 in April, the fourth straight year he won the event;[130] he nearly won at Watkins Glen International before, on the final lap, hitting oil on the track from Bobby Labonte's car and being spun by Brad Keselowski, giving the win to Marcos Ambrose.[131] He failed to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup,[132] finishing 13th in Sprint Cup points, and was winless in Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series competition.[133] Despite the fact he wasn't in the Chase, he did well in the final ten races, accumulating 7 top 5 and 8 top 10 finishes. He also dominated a few races - He led the most laps at Dover International Speedway, but had to pit for fuel with 10 laps to go and gave up the lead to Brad Keselowski who gambled and won the race. He was close to his first win at Martinsville Speedway, but he could't overtake Jimmie Johnson in the final laps. He led the most laps at Phoenix International Raceway, but the last caution gave trophy to Kevin Harvick. And he also led the most laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but he had to pit for fuel and Jeff Gordon won the race.

2013[edit]

Heading into the 2013 season, Busch merged his No. 54 Nationwide Series team with Joe Gibbs Racing as part of a multi-year contract extension with the team; he continued to field his own No. 77 Toyota in the Nationwide Series with driver Parker Kligerman.[134]

Busch began the 2013 racing season with a crash in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.[135] In qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500, he won his Budweiser Duel qualifying race;[136] Busch ran as high as second in the Daytona 500 before blowing an engine after 150 of the race's 200 laps.[137] At Phoenix International Raceway, Busch won the Nationwide Series Dollar General 200 from the pole, ending the second-longest winless streak of his career;[138] at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks later, he won the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway by less than .025 seconds over rookie Kyle Larson, tying Kevin Harvick for the most wins at Bristol in the Nationwide Series.[139] That same weekend, Busch won the Sprint Cup pole, setting a new track qualifying record;[140] he finished second after rallying back from a speeding penalty.[141]

Busch competing in the 2013 STP Gas Booster 500.

At Fontana, Busch dominated the weekend, winning both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races;[142] in the Sprint Cup race he passed a crashing Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin for the win.[142] Busch won his second Sprint Cup pole of the season at Texas, narrowly beating elder brother Kurt to do so.[143] Busch swept the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races at the track, his seventh weekend sweep.[144] Busch finished 38th in the Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway, 24th at Richmond and then 37th at Talladega; he dominated the Southern 500 at Darlington after winning the previous night's Nationwide Series race before dropping back to sixth at the finish having suffered a cut tire.[145]

At Charlotte, in the Nationwide Series, Busch was back in the winner's circle at History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, having already won at the track in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 for the Camping World Truck Series the previous weekend.[146] The next day at the Coca-Cola 600 in the Sprint Cup Series, Busch had qualified in 8th, and was leading when an unusual incident occurred on lap 121; with Busch leading, one of the cables to a FOX Sports cable camera on the front straightaway snapped and fell on the track in the turn 4 grandstands, injuring 10 spectators.[147] Busch ran over it, as did Mark Martin, Marcos Ambrose and several others, suffering damage to the underside of his car. A red flag was waved, but while under normal red flag conditions, crews are not allowed to touch the cars, enough cars took damage from hitting the cable that NASCAR gave all teams 15 minutes to check for damage and do any repairs if needed. At the restart, all cars returned to the position they were in. On lap 258, Busch's engine blew, ending his night and finishing him in 38th place.[147]

Busch finished 4th in the Sprint Cup race the following weekend at Dover, then 6th at Pocono Raceway, and 4th at Michigan International Speedway before spinning twice in the first road-course event of the year at Sonoma Raceway and finishing 35th.[148] He finished 5th at Kentucky Speedway, then at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 he won his first-ever pole at a restrictor plate track in any NASCAR series.[149] He was collected in a last-lap wreck, finishing 12th.[150]

Busch won his seventh Nationwide Series event of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading 130 of 200 laps;[151] he finished second in the following day's Sprint Cup race, becoming involved in a feud with Ryan Newman, calling Newman "the biggest stupid idiot out there" following an on-track run-in with brother Kurt Busch.[152]

Two weeks later, Busch won the second running of the Nationwide Series Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the pole, leading the most laps in the race and passing Brian Scott with two laps remaining for the win.[153] He then won two weeks later in the Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen International, a fortunate pit strategy helping him beat Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex, Jr. to win.[154] After finishing 31st at Michigan, Busch won the Truck Series and Nationwide Sereis races at Bristol Motor Speedway,[155][156] then started last in the Sprint Cup race after a spin in qualifying,[157] finishing eleventh.[158]

After a second place finish in the Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Busch won the Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at the track, taking the lead with thirty laps to go and beating Joey Logano for the victory, securing a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.[159] This was Busch's 28th career win tying him with Rex White for 23rd place on the all-time wins list.

Busch then ended the regular season with a 19th place finish at Richmond.

Busch opened the Chase with runner-up finishes to Matt Kenseth at Chicagoland and New Hampshire. He then had a fifth place finish at Dover.

Busch's bad luck at Kansas continued in the fall. Both he and brother Kurt wrecked their primary cars in practice, forcing both to start from the back of the field in backup cars. While Kurt managed to charge through the field to finish second, Kyle spun out on the first lap trying to avoid a wrecking Danica Patrick and David Reutimann in turn 1. Busch then had to struggle with a poor handling racecar for most of the day. On lap 188, Busch was spun by Juan Pablo Montoya in turn 4. 12 laps later, on a restart from Marcos Ambrose's spin, Busch's day was ended prematurely when he was tapped by Carl Edwards and turned into Brian Vickers, then shot up head-on into the turn 2 wall, destroying the front part of his car and leaving him with a 34th place finish. Despite this, Busch finished fourth in the final points, his best career point finish to date.

2014[edit]

In 2014, Kyle Busch will again drive the #54 car part-time in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, splitting the ride with Sam Hornish, Jr.[160] He will also drive the #51 truck part-time for 10 races in the Camping World Truck Series, with Erik Jones driving the other 12.[161]

Kyle Busch's first highlight of the season came at Daytona in the NASCAR truck series race. He took the lead half-way in the 100 lap event, after leader Ben Kennedy (grandson of Bill France Jr.) ran out of gas. He led 25 laps and Timothy Peters got by Busch with 5 laps to go. With help from Ron Hornaday Jr. and Ryan Truex, Busch used a high-line move, to beat Peters by an inch for the win in a photo-finish.

Kyle Busch led some laps during the Daytona 500 and was running 4th on the final lap but got collected in an accident involving former arch rival Kevin Harvick. The next week at Phoenix, Kyle Busch ran second with 65 laps to go, but he and then leader Ryan Newman lost their shot at the win when they had to pit during an untimely caution.

On March 23rd 2014 at Auto Club Speedway, Kyle Busch started 14th and was running fifth on the final restart. His older brother Kurt Busch appeared to have the win locked up, but Kurt and Tony Stewart got into an aggressive battle for the lead that resulted in Busch catching up to the leaders and passing for the win on the final lap. Busch held off rookie Kyle Larson for the win after passing Kurt Busch and Stewart.

At Richmond, Busch finished 3rd after an amazing charge from 16th place to 3rd in the final restart thanks to 4 fresh tires. At Charlotte in the All-Star Race, Busch controlled the race early. He won $50,000 for winning segment #1 but got into an early accident in the second segment collecting Joey Logano. While racing hard with older brother Kurt, Kyle got into Clint Bowyer and spun out; came back down and was hit hard by Logano. It resembled his 2013 spring Kansas wreck. Kyle Busch famously climbed out and tried to walk to the infield hospital by himself to gain his composure but an ambulance picked him up escorting him to the hospital.

Kyle Busch also had a good Nationwide series season. He shared the #54 with Sam Hornish Jr. bringing the 54 to victory many times. Kyle Busch took the win at Phoenix holding off former rival Kevin Harvick. The rain delayed the race finish forcing it to be called official therefore giving Kyle the win. He took the checkers at Bristol by holding off Kyle Larson in a re-run of the 2013 Bristol race. He then ended Joey Logano's Dover streak by winning the Dover NNS race on May 31st.

During the spring and early summer, Kyle Busch had great results in the truck series. In the first 5 races he entered he dominated and won. Busch led the most laps in 4 of the races. Four of the races were also won after starting on the pole. Despite success in the truck series, Busch has been struggling just to finish races in the Cup Series.

In June 2014 Kyle Busch led 31 laps of the Quaker State 400 but got passed by Brad Keselowski with 16 laps to go. Busch finished second but said in an interview that after his 10-week streak of bad luck the runner-up felt like a win to him. The runner-up returned Busch to the top ten in points after being ranked 12th before the Kentucky event.

At Daytona Kyle Busch ran in the top ten all day long. However "the big one" struck after half-way into the race. Kyle Busch got clipped by Justin Allgaier and Denny Hamlin. He then got crushed and t-boned by Cole Whitt causing him to flip over onto his roof. Busch was mostly unscathed. Kyle Busch recovered from the bad finish by winning the pole a week later for the Camping World RV Sales 301; a race at a track he's finished second at many times and won in 2006. Busch finished second to Brad Keselowski.

At the Brickyard 400 Kyle Busch finished second for a second consecutive time while Jeff Gordon pulled away to win. He then had a streak of 4 races with 36th or less finishes. At Bristol Busch appeared to have a dominant car but got into a multi-car wreck on lap 117 after leading many laps. He then broke down because of axle issues. He and his crew chief David Rogers argued on their radios as Busch went to the garages with Rogers telling Kyle to "take your whiny little ass to the bus." Rogers later apologized for his comments when it was figured out that Rogers only thought Kyle was complaining because of miscommunication due to radio issues.

At Atlanta the next week Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wrecked while racing with 3 laps to go bringing out a caution. Busch and Truex exchanged heated words in the garages. Busch made the Chase for a second consecutive year. At Chicago Busch won the truck race despite 2 errors that put him 3 laps down with less than 40 laps to go; a shocking comeback in what many say is the best comeback in NASCAR. Kyle Busch led 46 laps at Chicago and finished 7th.

Late model racing[edit]

Busch after winning the pole position for the 2012 Slinger Nationals
Busch racing at Williams Grove Speedway in 2009

Busch has maintained an active schedule of regional late model stock car racing, running his own Kyle Busch Motorsports cars in various events. His biggest win came in December 2009 when he won the 42nd running of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.[162]

On July 10, 2011, Busch won the 32nd annual Slinger Nationals at Slinger Super Speedway in Wisconsin.[163] Two weeks later, Busch won the 38th annual TD Bank 250 presented by New England Dodge Dealers at Oxford Plains Speedway;[164] it was his third attempt to win the event.[165] Kyle Busch became only the second active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to win the event, New England's largest short track race, joining Kevin Harvick as the only other active Sprint Cup driver to win the race with his victory in 2008.[166] Busch stated "I've had this one on my list of big races that I wanted to win and now that I've done it, it feels great - it was everything I thought it would be."[167] Busch also won the preliminary Pro All Star Series Oxford 150 the previous night, sweeping the weekend's events.[168]

Busch won the eighth annual Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in June 2012, beating Tony Stewart to win the pay-per-view all-star event.[169]

In July 2013 Busch won the second running of the Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at the Milwaukee Mile, beating defending race winner Travis Sauter and NASCAR Truck Series regular Johnny Sauter to win the darkness-shortened 43-car event, having led every practice session and setting fast time in qualifying.[170]

Formula One[edit]

Busch was one of several American drivers under consideration to drive for the US-based Formula One team US F1.[171] Busch declined the offer, stating that the timing was wrong;[172] the team folded due to economic issues without ever competing in a race.[173] Busch was scheduled to test drive a Toyota F1 car at the end of the 2008 racing season,[174] but was forced to cancel the test due to his commitment to attend the 2008 Nationwide Series banquet.[172]

Charity efforts[edit]

In 2006, Busch founded the Kyle Busch Foundation following a visit to the St. John's Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[175] According to the Foundation, "The Kyle Busch Foundation is dedicated to providing essential tools for less fortunate children throughout the country.".[176] Busch also has personal sponsorship deals in place with Monster Energy and Electric Visual,[177][178] with both appearing on his late model at one time or another.

During the 2008 season, Busch announced the "Kyle's Miles" program in association with Pedigree to help dogs in shelters and breed rescue organizations.[179]

Personal life[edit]

Busch and wife Samantha in April 2013

Kyle Busch married Samantha Sarcinella on December 31, 2010 in Chicago, which was featured in an hour special on Style Network.[180] Sarcinella is a native of St. John's, Indiana,[181] and a graduate of Purdue University with a psychology degree.[182]

He is often nicknamed "Shrub", as the younger brother of Kurt Busch, a small bush being called a shrub.[183] Busch also uses the nickname "Rowdy", after Days of Thunder character Rowdy Burns.[184]

Legal troubles[edit]

On May 24, 2011, Busch was cited for reckless driving and speeding near Troutman, North Carolina, driving 128 mph (206 km/h) in a 45 mph (72 km/h) speed limit zone.[185] He issued a public apology in which he stated he got "carried away" test driving a Lexus LFA.[186] On August 23, 2011, he received a $1,000 fine and had his license suspended for 45 days after he pleaded guilty to speeding. He was also ordered to serve 30 hours of community service and placed on one year of unsupervised probation.[187] On April 29, 2014, Busch was cited for traveling 60 mph (97 km/h) in a 45 mph (72 km/h) speed limit zone on NC 73 in Denver, North Carolina. Busch claimed he thought the speed limit was 55 mph (89 km/h). The officer claimed Busch had a "disrespectful attitude."[188]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Nationwide Series[edit]

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

* Season in progress.
1 Ineligible for series championship points.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ The current recordholder is Joey Logano, who won the 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway at an age of 19 years, 1 month and 4 days.[29]
  2. ^ The current youngest Camping World Truck Series winner is Erik Jones, winning at Phoenix International Raceway in November 2013 at 17 years, 5 months, and 8 days.[36]
  3. ^ Including the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series; the team's 200th Sprint Cup win was scored by Jimmie Johnson in the 2012 Bojangles' Southern 500.[46]
  4. ^ Although the race Scott won was held in December 1963, it was considered part of the 1964 season by NASCAR.[48]
  5. ^ Busch was the second driver to win on his birthday; he later became one of three drivers to do so after Matt Kenseth won on his birthday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2013.[81]
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External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Clint Bowyer
NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
2009
Succeeded by
Brad Keselowski
Achievements
Preceded by
Kasey Kahne
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year
2005
Succeeded by
Denny Hamlin
Preceded by
David Stremme
NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year
2004
Succeeded by
Carl Edwards
Preceded by
Kurt Busch
Budweiser Shootout Winner
2012
Succeeded by
Kevin Harvick
Preceded by
Augie Grill
Snowball Derby Winner
2009
Succeeded by
Johanna Long
Preceded by
Eddie MacDonald
TD Bank 250 Winner
2011
Succeeded by
Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
Preceded by
Clint Bowyer
Prelude to the Dream Winner
2012
Succeeded by
Final
Preceded by
Travis Sauter
Howie Lettow Memorial 150 Winner
2013
Succeeded by
Incumbent